Ad viewability levels in the UK rose for the first time in nine months to the highest level seen for over a year, according to the latest quarterly benchmark report from ad verification company Meetrics.
In the second quarter of 2017, the proportion of banner ads served that met minimum viewability guidelines rose from 47% to 51% – the first rise since Q3 2016 – and the highest level since Q1 2016 (54%).
Despite the rise, the UK still lags far behind Austria (69%), France (58%) and Germany (57%).
“It’s certainly a step in the right direction and shows ad viewability initiatives, such as from JICWEBS and the like, are starting to impact the market,” said Anant Joshi, Meetrics’ commercial director UK & Ireland. “However, the UK is still well behind other markets and the industry has much work to do. We can’t celebrate the fact that we’re back to almost half of banner ad budgets being wasted on ads that don’t have the chance to be seen.”
For the first time, Meetrics has revealed the different viewability levels between ads purchased directly versus ads purchased programmatically across Europe. Joshi said: “Not surprisingly, direct ads have a better viewability level (59%) than programmatic (52%). Direct ads may be more expensive but in the end, their viewability rates are higher and are more likely to be in a brand-safe environment.”
In another first, Meetrics has published an international viewability figure for video ads, revealing 69% of video ads meet the IAB and Media Ratings Council’s recommendation that 50% of the video ad is in view for at least two seconds. For banner ads, its 50% for at least one second.
The average time a video ad is in view, or has the opportunity to be seen, is 23.4 seconds, compared to 25.5 seconds for banner ads (note the time isn’t how long they were actually watched for / looked at).
Joshi commented: “As video ad spend continues to rise, it’s extremely encouraging to see such a good initial viewability rate for video. This is partly because viewers tend to be more engaged with video due to its greater screen size and being less surrounded by other ads.”